ACTING ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Andrew Pengilley is asking Canberrans to be aware of measles symptoms after a case was notified to ACT Health today.
“Health Protection Service (HPS) is following-up identified contacts in line with national guidelines,” Dr Pengilley said.
People who may have been exposed to the case include:
- Anyone who attended the Calvary Hospital Emergency Department on Thursday 21 August between 12.30pm and 6.30pm; and
- Anyone who attended the 5.30pm service at the Life Unlimited Church in Charnwood on Sunday 17 August 2014.
“We’re advising anyone who attended these venues to be aware for symptoms and to seek medical advice if they develop symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of measles should advise their health provider before they arrive at the medical clinic so that appropriate infection control precautions can be put in place to stop the spread of the infection.
“The symptoms of measles may include fever, tiredness, runny nose, sore eyes and a cough, followed by a rash which appears 2-7 days later. People generally develop symptoms 7-18 days after being exposed to a person with infectious measles, with 10 days being more common. People are infectious from 5 days before they develop a rash until 4 days after.
“Measles is a serious disease and is highly contagious among people who are not fully immunised. The virus is spread from an infectious person during coughing and sneezing or through direct contact with secretions from the nose or mouth.
“The most effective protection against measles is vaccination. Two doses of Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine (MMR) are recommended and are normally given to children at 12 months and 18 months of age. However the vaccine can be given at any age.
“This case is a timely reminder that outbreaks of measles continue to occur in other countries. Therefore it is important that people travelling overseas ensure they are fully vaccinated before they depart,” Dr Pengilley concluded.
Information about measles online at www.health.act.gov.au/publications/fact-sheets/measles, or contact the Communicable Disease Control Information Line on (02) 6205 2155.
[Photo by Dave Haygarth, attribution licence]